Soul band The Drifters had an "astonishing" escape from a serious car crash early this morning, police said.

The US group were on their way to London when their car, travelling at 70mph, hit another vehicle on the M1 near Sheffield that had crashed after it had swerved to avoid an animal.

Singers Rohan Delano Turney, Peter Lamarr, Victor Bynoe and Patrick Alan were taken by ambulance to hospital. Alan is being treated for head injuries and the remaining bandmembers have since been discharged.

"It is quite astonishing that we were not dealing with a fatal collision, given the nature of the incident," PC John Scruby of South Yorkshire Police's road policing group said.

The group had performed a concert last night in Newcastle. Bynoe, Lamarr and Turney are now continuing their journey to the capital.

After rising to fame in the 1950s, The Drifters have undergone a number of changes and have had numerous hits including Under The Boardwalk and Fools Fall in Love.

The band's manager Phil Luderman told the BBC that they are planning on continuing with their tour despite the accident. Their next performance is due to take place at Derngate, Northampton, on Thursday.

12/03/2007 15:12:55